Tag Archive: John Redwood

Mr. Redwood – say that again, please?

John Redwood today pontificates on the perils, as he views it, of devolution – too much of which, he states, undermines the UK. Writing on the subject of devolution to Scotland, he states:

I wanted the parties of the Union last year to say to Scotland ” We would like you to stay. You are most welcome as part of our joint country. We only want volunteers in our union, so of course you are free to leave on fair terms if that is your wish. You know what the union is like. We wish to keep it broadly the same”.

Just who is this ‘We’? Just what is this ‘Our’? Since when was the decision whether Scotland should be granted the opportunity of seceding from the United Kingdom purely that of yours and your fellow politicians? Since when has the United Kingdom been ‘your’ joint country?

In the use of ‘We’ and ‘Our’, Redwood alludes to the belief that Parliament is sovereign, that only Parliament has the right to make decisions which affect those that politicians are meant to serve. No doubt Redwood may reply that his use of those two words was because the political parties were, metaphorically, speaking on behalf of the people – to which one has to ask Redwood just when were the people asked for their opinion; and as they weren’t, just how can he and others speak on their behalf?

Redwood – and those politicians like him – only illustrate, with their belief in parliamentary sovereignty, coupled with representative democracy, why there is a growing divide twixt the electorate and our political class. It is becoming more obvious by the day that people are beginning to resent being dictated to; hence the clamour for more say over their lives – and Redwood also needs to realise that the lives in question are not his property to decide.

The basis of all decisions that politicians take in our name is one of ‘one size fits all’ and Redwood and his ilk need to accept that one size does not fit all – the priorities of the Northeast are different to those of the Southeast, or any other area of the United Kingdom.

In the House of Commons politicians reserve the right to make decisions against the wishes of their party leader as a matter of personal conscience and choice. Where a ruling elite enjoy different and better privileges to the common man on matters of personal conscience and choice, then there can only exist a form of dictatorship – be that dictatorship one elected, or not.

If John Redwood cares to research the root of the word democracy, one which he is fond of using, he will find it derives from a combination of the Greek words for people and power; consequently, erudite man that he purports to be, he can only accept it is the people that are sovereign, not Parliament.

A link to this article has been posted in the comments section of Redwood’s article with the question: just who do you think you are and what makes you so different from your fellow man?




Failing to see the wood for the trees

John Redwood writes that on the morning of September 30 he awoke to find the BBC presenting a garbled version of his views on the BBC  on why big business should stay out of referendum debates, while complaining that they had not phoned him to check his views, nor invite him on to explain them, continuing that people will remember his advice to big business to keep out of the Scottish referendum campaign. He continues that it is his understanding those companies that did speak out now have to deal with shareholders, employees and customers who are unhappy that their company spoke against their political wishes.

I know not the modus operandi of Mr. Redwood, but speaking from personal experience my own Member of Parliament, when taking momentous decisions, has never telephoned me to check my views nor invited me to discuss them. Perhaps Mr. Redwood can now appreciate how I – and many of the electorate – feel about being ignored.

To my knowledge my Member of Parliament has never held a debate with his constituents to ascertain how they feel about various matters du jour. For sure, he holds what are known as ‘Cameron Direct’ sessions but from what I hear, like any other politician, he is in ‘transmit mode’ only. It cannot be right that if a Member of Parliament is elected to represent the views of his/her constituents, that said representatives should rely on ‘surgeries’, where we have to approach them. This then broaches the subject about the lack of separation of Executive from the Legislature; because where ones Member of Parliament is also a member of the Executive they cannot truly represent the views of their constituent.

On the 15th August I attended the surgery of my Member of Parliament at which time I handed him a dossier of questions about his statements and decisions on matters EU – tomorrow it will be seven weeks since that meeting and I am still awaiting a response. So he has had matters of national and international importance to deal with – see what I mean when I say that a member of the Executive does not have time, nor the ability, to represent the views and concerns of his/her constituent?

John Redwood is an example of someone being unable to see the wood from the trees – and another is Martin Wolf, writing in the FT about the question of English devolution and maintaining that the English should not seek parity with the Scots. He writes that English votes for English matters is quite unworkable and that an alternative, it is argued, is a full federation, continuing that this, too, is problematic as England has been a centralised state for almost a thousand years and that it has a huge and dominant capital that cannot sensibly be separated from its surroundings.

Had Martin Wolf carried out two simple tasks – engage brain, coupled with research – he would have finally found this idea; and found the answer to all that he considers unsolvable questions.

It really is that simple, Mr. Wolf.


Any port in a storm

John Redwood is indignant about the EU’s plans to, in his words:  take control over all the main ports in the EU, establishing by direct EU regulation their right to determine how they are run and how they charge; and especially, again in his words: the EU’s wish to regulate the 47 largest ports in the UK.

In his article Redwood links to a Committee hearing held yesterday and it is worth looking at the list of attendees which include those who would have us believe that when they speak, they speak with the authority of knowledge – which sadly is obviously not the case; exemplified by the title of Redwood’s article.

Let us go back to basics for the uninitiated (in respect of those that attended the aforementioned committee meeting, it includes them) and look at competences. Transport in all its forms is listed as a shared competence in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). A shared competence means that both the EU and Member States may adopt legally binding acts in the area concerned, but  Member State can only do so where the EU has not exercised its competence. In effect what this means is that once the EU has legislated on a particular subject, that subject becomes what is known as an ‘occupied field’ and Member States are barred from further legislation of their own – unless that is they have cleared it with Brussels.

Transport covers all such forms, be they air, land, sea, inland waterways, or road – and the EU exercised its competence on matters transport back in 1996. As I wrote on 29th April, this year:

TEN-T guidelines were initially adopted on 23 July 1996, with Decision No 1692/96/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network (TEN-T). In April 2004, the European Parliament and the Council adopted Decision No 884/2004/EC (added to the list by Decision No 884/2004/EC), amending Decision No 1692/96/EC on Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network. The April 2004 revision was a more fundamental change to TEN-T policies, intended to accommodate EU enlargement and consequent changes in traffic flows.

 For the avoidance of doubt that means the UK accepted the proposals and thus becomes bound to implement them.

If we look at Decision 1692/96/EC setting up the Trans European Network – Transport (TEN-T) we find that the objective is to integrate land, sea and air transport infrastructure networks throughout the Community (Article 2.1); so one has to ask how is this latest move by the EU a further power grab? The right to legislate on any form of transport was assumed by the EU on 23rd July 1996.

On the 29th April this year the EU issued a brochure: Ports 2030 Gateways for the Trans European Transport Network and from the Introduction by Siim Kallas we learn of the need to: establish a clear European legislative environment to guarantee equal conditions for competition and legal certainty.

Even back in 2007 The European Commission produced a Communication on Freight Transport Logistics which from the Introduction informs us that: Freight Transport Logistics focuses on the planning, organisation, management,
control and execution of freight transport operations in the supply chain.

Only this year, in March, the United Nations Economic Council – Europe (UNECE) issued a document about the Working Party on Intermodal Transport and Logistics (Wp.24) for a UNECE Workshop held in Brussels on 12 and 113th June this year.

Admittedly the foregoing provides only a very brief background to that of which Redwood complains; but if I can unearth this little in a few minutes, one can only ask what he and the remainder of the good, great and powerful have been doing? I might also suggest that instead of wasting time arguing about Points of Order, they could well have admitted that there is sod all they do can do about the matter; packed up and all had an early day.

Update: The following comment has been left on JOhn Redwood’s article:

Mr. Redwood,

Your article is utter tosh! It is NOT a power grab – they already have the competence to do all they want.

In 1996 you were in the HoC so what did you do to attempt to negate Decision 1692/96/EC, agreed by your Leader at the time?

Where were you in 2007 when the Communication on Freight Transport Logistics was published from which the Introduction informs us that: Freight Transport Logistics focuses on the planning, organisation, management, control and execution of freight transport operations in the supply chain.

Under Representative Democracy you want the right to take decisions on our behalf but also reserve the right to act as your conscience dictates.

Just why should we rely on those who so obviously know nothing about that on which they pontificate?


Answer the question, please!

Once again I have entered into a debate with John Redwood, this time on Cameron’s fixation of holding an EU referendum in 2017. Like the disciple Peter, thrice Redwood denies the truth, namely in this instance that a Convention and IGC is necessary where treaty change is to occur.

From the comments section:

David Phipps

Posted February 1, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

Mr. Redwood, I am at a total loss to understand this fixation with a referendum in 2017 and Cameron’s stated aim of renegotiating the treaties.

He can no more renegotiate the treaties than I can, yet you continue to write about this. Surely you both know – and if you don’t, you should do – that treaty change requires a Convention followed by an IGC – a process that will take longer than 2 years.

As a result, were a referendum to be held in 2017, on what would the public being asked to decide? A ‘status quo’ which was in the course of being changed – the outcome of which would be unknown? Does it really matter then, that a nonsensical bill has been lost?

This ridiculous agenda that Cameron proposes – and which is supported by you and others in the Conservative Party – has to cease. Its continuation is misleading the British electorate and I would suggest that misleading the electorate is a heinous crime – but then it is a practice in which the political class excel; and have done so for decades.

And still you and your ilk wonder why politicians are held in such low esteem?

Reply I want people to have the opportunity to vote to leave the EU. If you are right and the rest of the EU will not offer Mr Cameron a better deal then I suggest it makes exit that much more likely. Why complain?

  • David Phipps
    Posted February 1, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Your response is most logical, Mr. Redwood. Unfortunately I note that like all politicians you duck the question I posed. To repeat: how can Cameron renegotiate the treaties and put a question to the electorate by 2017 when he has no power to change the treaties and when he has to undergo the process of Convention and IGC which will take more than 2 years?

    That about which I complain has nothing to do with his intentions, merely his continual deception of the public by maintaining that he will do that which he cannot -and which you and your ilk,together with the Conservative Party mouthpiece Open Europe, publicly support.

    And what of the Spinelli Group’s suggestion for a new Treaty and their call for those member states that will not join the Euro to become ‘Associate’ members? Or is that a subject that will not be broached with the public until it becomes unavoidable?

    Reply In EU affairs there is no fixed way of proceeding. If the other states wanted to help him they could do so quite quickly after 2015, as the states did who signed a non EU Fiscal Treaty recently.

  • David Phipps
    Posted February 1, 2014 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    If by Fiscal Treaty you are referring to The Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union, otherwise known as the Fiscal compact then that is to be incorporated into the Treaties within the next 4 years.

    Where the next step from the LisbonTreaty is concerned – and it is coming as you would know if you paid attention to ‘matters EU’ – is by ‘treaty change’ and that can only be accomplished by a Convention and an IGC. Merkel has already hinted at it and Barroso is due to give a speech prior to the May elections.

    One of Cameron’s aims is to change immigration rules, which encroaches on the principle of free movement. Has not Barroso and Reding not stated that this is a ‘no-go’ area? Cameron attempts to change welfare requirements but cannot as it infringes that same principle of free movement.

    With treaty change coming, you honestly believe the Commission is going to allow some states to’fix things” to their own advantage – especially where the ‘four freedom’s are concerned? If so then I have to say you are deluded; and no offence is intended by my use of the word deluded’.

    Come Spring it is my intention to hold a public meeting, once I have found a suitable venue, the subject of which will be ‘Democracy – and why we haven’t got it’. This will encompass the deficits of representative democracy and the European Union – care to attend and turn it into a public debate?

    I extend the invitation to you – or any other MP, regardless of party – as my MP has publicly informed me that he has no further intention to answer questions I have previously posed him. When an MP can adopt such an attitude then democracy, per se, truly is dead.

    Reply As I have repeatedly said, if the other states will not engage in a UK renegotiation then the people have the opportunity to vote to leave. I suspect a way will be found to change the Treaties. The EU is constantly changing and evolving the way it works, as they did during the Euro crisis.

Not that Redwood is alone in apparently not being able to see that which is in front of his nose. Either this is because (a) he genuinely does not understand ‘matters EU’; or (b) he has been sat on by the whips and is another Carswell; or, more likely, (c) sitting on a healthy majority in his  Wokingham constituency, he cares not one fig about his constituents or parliamentary sovereignty and is just in politics for the power and position it affords him.

In my reply to Redwood I wrote about what I termed the heinous crime of misleading the public – and it would seem there is a conspiracy involving politicians and journalists. Witness Matthew d’Ancona with his op-ed in today’s Telegraph in which he writes:

When David Cameron addresses his plans for a referendum on EU membership, he does so with a confidence that increasingly commands respect and attention.

How d’Ancona has the barefaced affront to pen such a sentence escapes me entirely -is he too uneducated about ‘matters EU’ or have pieces of silver also changed hands? Booker aside,just when is a journalist going to report the actualité?

Neither does Janet Daley escape censure with her comment that Dominic Raab was subjected to public character assassination that stopped just short of libel. So he should have been because for an MP with a legal background to propose an amendment which, if he knew anything about ‘matters EU’, he should know was pointless beggars belief.

Daley continues her article by writing about the position of voters amid the shenanigans that occurred in Parliament last week; to whom does an MP’s responsibility lie; that the democratic process, both here and in the United States, is in crisis; and that the voice of the people is routinely ignored by politicians. If all that is true – which it undoubtedly is – then it is unbelievable that someone like Daley is unable to take the next logical step and realise that the system of democracy currently practiced needs to be changed.

In conclusion one can only presume that journalists, like politicians, always offer their opinions from an upright position – as to do so from one sedentary would make their opinions impossible to hear.*

* Credit for that observation must go to an email correspondent of mine whose identity, for the moment, must remain known only to me.

Really, Ed: there are limits

I have refrained from commenting on the MilibandE/Mail fracas; and in any event Helen, Your Freedom and Ours has written a comment in far better prose than I could ever hope to employ. It is impossible to not agree with Helen that – and here I resort to my more basic command of the English language – when one has repeatedly stated, virtually in every major speech that has been made, that one’s father was the guiding light in your life, then it follows that as the son and a leading political figure of the land, he must expect a few pot-shots to be taken in his direction. John Redwood made the decision not to mention his father when campaigning for the Tory leadership – I leave readers to judge which of the two men made the wiser decision.

Any sympathy that MilibandE may have expected must now surely be negated by his utterly stupid insertion of a contentious political point in his letter of complaint to Lord Rothermere about the intrusion of a Mail reporter attending his uncle’s memorial event.

Crass Ed, just crass!

Redwood ‘open letters’ Hague

In The Times today, on the Opinion page, John Redwood writes an ‘open letter’ to William Hague, one with the title: Is the Foreign Office fighting for Britain? Following the usual opening pleasantry of Dear William, Redwood begins: The Foreign Office review of the balances of EU competences — documenting the powers that Brussels has over Britain — is important work. The title may not be catchy, but it is about our democracy and identity as a nation. He continues: The six chapters published so far read as whitewash to justify the existing settlement. The reader is alerted to the overarching bias of the exercise in the first sentence: “Membership of the EU is in the UK’s national interests.

Redwood wants the FCO to start with an honest catalogue of all the powers the EU now enjoys. He then believes this would allow political parties  to then set out which powers should be brought back to the UK and which should remain at EU level. This is a man who then further believes that: our democracy needs a new relationship.

There will, no doubt, be readers who believe that I should ‘lay off’ criticising Redwood just as they believe my castigation of the likes of Carswell and Hannan are unjustified, in that they are convinced those three are part of the ”good guys’. For any politician who can believe in (a) a system of democracy which has no vestige of democracy within it; and (b) that some powers affecting their nation, whose well being they hold in their hands on behalf of others, can be sub-contracted to another, higher, legislative body should promptly be committed to Broadmoor!

That Redwood, Carswell and Hannan are but Judas Goats leading their sheep to their eventual appointment at the political slaughterhouse is beyond doubt That all three can write blithely about democracy, when such does not exist but a system of democratised dictatorship does, should ring alarm bells in any person who has the ability of thought. They write about independence of our nation, by which they mean their independence, not the independence of those they are elected to serve and whose views they are supposed to represent – hence they wish to perpetuate the existing system of democratised dictatorship.

Since when has a nation been the personal fifedom of our elected politicians, to do with as they wish? Does not a nation belong to the people within it and should it not be their voice that dictates that nation’s – as well as their own – direction of travel? That Redwood, Carswell and Hannan – as do undoubtedly the remainder of their class – seem unable to accept that falling membership of political parties is something that continues and thus demonstrates that people no longer are content to devote hours of their time supporting them beggars belief.

This latter point is one mentioned by Ross Clark in an article to be published in the Speccie in two days time, but is currently available online. In his article, Clark nails the problem with representative democracy where democracy is concerned. He writes:

Yet every election forces us to choose between baskets of policies. The political system offers us only fixed menus when most of us really want to go à la carte.

Here, although Clark does not wish to mention it – assuming he has even considered it – we have the first unspoken suggestion that representative democracy does not and cannot work; and it means that if we want à la carte then the only way to achieve that state is to adopt a system of direct democracy. On this point of an à la cart option, Clark continues:

But what if convention were to be abandoned and the Prime Minister and the main offices of state could be directly elected? The possibility that any MP could become Prime Minister would encourage independent candidates to come forward, who could stand on their own genuine beliefs, not those fed to them by party managers (or donors). No longer would an incoming government have a mandate to enact a single manifesto, with whips on hand to bully MPs into line; every policy would have to command support of the House of Commons on its own merits. Then the country could simultaneously vote — as it would choose to do — for both welfare reform and a mansion tax.

Yet again we find Clark highlighting the deficits of representative democracy, but once again seemingly unable to take the next logical step. If we wish to vote for welfare reform and a mansion tax, why on earth does that have to have an effect countrywide? Why cannot smaller units, such as County Councils, decide that; and, more importantly, why cannot the people in each County Council decide that which they want and insist on their Council providing just that?

That which Clark would like to see is but the tip of what the 6 Demands would provide – political freedom for the people and an end to the servitude which they presently suffer under representative democracy, a system that is by its nature one that is dictatorial.

No doubt like many others I am frustrated that those who present themselves as opinion-formers/political commentators appear unable to think logically – and ‘outside the box’. When we have politicians inside the box; and whose livelihood depends on maintain their seat inside the box; and opinion formers/political commentators who appear to have not one logical reasoning process among them – then all we, the people, can look forward to is a continuance of the status quo.

Unless we, perhaps, start thinking for ourselves?


Where is “democracy”, Mr. Redwood, in that which you write?

John Redwood has an article entitled: “Parliamentary Law and Treaty Law”, from which:

“Statute law designed by a free and sovereign Parliament has two great advantages over these Treaties. The first is Parliament can regularly improve and update the moral standards and viewpoints behind the laws as opinion evolves. Secondly the public can remove members of a Parliament that make a mess of it and insist on urgent change after a new election.”

So Parliament can regularly improve and update the moral standards and viewpoints behind the laws as opinion evolves? And whose moral standards, viewpoints and opinions are we discussing here? Those of the political class, or those of the people? So the public can remove members of a Parliament that make a mess of it and insist on urgent change after a new election? And in the ensuing periods twixt elections exactly what can the people do about that with which they disagree?

In those few questions referred to in the quote, we have a politician, revered by some among the electorate as being “on their side”, who wishes to continue the present system of democratised dictatorship for reasons of self-preservation, self-aggrandisement and, more importantly, power over their fellow man. Just where is there any sense of democracy – demos/people, kratos/power; ie, people power – in that? Where is the voice of the people? There isn’t – and the last thing those like Redwood want is the voice of the people.

We are continually informed by the political class that they are elected to represent us, yet where in the process of their “deliberations” are our moral standards; our viewpoints and our opinions canvassed? Oh those of “partners”; quangos and ncos are listened to – but they are not the people! I see no statement from /Redwood that this would change were he to have his way where governance of this country is concerned.

Redwood = charlatan?

Just asking……….

Update: I have posted this link under the heading of a rebuttal and requested that he cross-post his reply on this blog for the benefit of my readers – I wait with bated breath……….


Censorship: MP Style?

On his blog, John Redwood posted an article entitled: “When might Germany get fed up paying for the Euro?”. Among the comments is one by Andy Baxter, timed at 8:07am. Notwithstanding the fact that when commenting on Redwood’s blog it is known that your comments are moderated, one should be able to assume that providing said comment does not contain profanity or is of a libellous nature, it will be published.

That which Andy Baxter submitted (compare and contrast) read:

“Question: “When might Germany get fed up with paying for the Euro?”
Answer: Never
Analysis: Why? because the Franco German alliance is the EU. ‘Le Project’ has always and will always be about domination of the European land mass of Europe and its peoples, politically, ideologically, financially, legislatively, psychologically, and a whole host of other ‘ically’ ways never even thought of yet by a ruling elite or what we call a ‘political class’ unelected, unaccountable and totally corrupted by the exercise of POWER!

And by the way Mr. Redwood Germany doesn’t pay for the EU, we do, all 500 million of us irrespective of our nationality. And we do so because people of your ilk under the broken not fit for purpose system of ‘representative democracy’ don’t and won’t listen to people like us and our wishes.

Ladies and Gentlemen there is another way and it’s voice is growing: Reform2013

There is nothing on Redwood’s blog that states links are not permitted and indeed, after the comment by Andy Baxter, there appears one from Denis Cooper, timed at 9:33am, which contains a link to an article by Open Europe. It seems odd for an MP who is a member of a government which professes to believe in transparency to edit comments and cut out that with which he/she may have no belief or affinity – but I digress.

Personally, I do not moderate comments, although I do edit any that contain profanity of any description. Once a blog owner moderates to the extent of omitting material, the content of which he may not agree, then what is being practised is but a form of censorship.

Another point worth mentioning is that John Redwood only rarely replies to comments, something I attempt to do on an individual basis. It is appreciated that Redwood gets far more comments than do I and to respond individually might not be possible for him due to time constraints. However Norman Tebbit always ends a post responding to comments made on his previous post – and I am sure that Norman Tebbit is just as busy as John Redwood – but again I digress.

Is it possible that John Redwood did take a look at the link Andy Baxter posted and thought: that is my power curtailed, I’m buggered if I’m going to allow that link!

Just asking, Mr. Redwood, just asking……….


Are people responsible for state debt?

Following his post: “L’etat ce n’est pas moi”, John Redwood, presumably in the same thread, posts another entitled: “As a voter in a democracy, am I responsible for the debts of the state?“. In respect of his question my immediate response was ‘No’, John, because you don’t live in a democracy – but I digress.

Redwood writes:

“The truth is that the debts incurred by the state are debts that we all collectively owe. If you stay in the country you pay. When it becomes clear a state has borrowed too much and will find it difficult to borrow more, the political choices all become unpleasant. They revolve around one simple issue – how do you share out the pain of paying.”

Perhaps Mr. Redwood can show me the agreement, bearing my signature on the dotted line, one which confirms my liability for said debt? When considering his question about how does one share out the pain of payiing might I suggest that until such time as the people have collectively agreed to expenditure of public money, it is the politicians who should be personally liable for said debt? When has any government asked we who provide the money they require, if we agree to provide it?

I notice that the Coalition of Resistance is holding a press conference to launch a mass anti-austerity campaign, one being attended by two MPs and a collection of comedians. Yet two more MPs wishing to decide whether we tighten our belts or they spend more of our money. By no stretch of the imagination can Redwood, Lucas and Clark claim that that is democracy in action – perhaps they would be agreeable to the people taking part of their income and informing them what it will be spent on for their benefit, without their having any voice in the matter? Perhaps those three MPs, together with the commenters on Redwood’s post linked to above, should go and read the 6 Demands?

Commenting on what he calls a frankly silly and ill-analysed piece in the Guardian this morning by Anthony Painter, Raedwald makes the point that there is:

“a desire for individuals to have more say over the regulation of their own lives rather than less say”

And it is through the adoption of the 6 Demands that that desire can and will be achieved – the last thing the people need is for two MPs and a collection of comedians to decide how money is spent, nor how much or little regulation we have in our lives.

Just saying……….



David's Musings


Comments Closed

Say one thing and do another

Today, Ed Miliband addressed the People’s Policy Forum in Birmingham (text here) and from which the first few words:

“I am delighted to be here today. This is a very special event. What today is about is doing politics in a different way. And doesn’t politics need it? Because I think we have to do politics in a different way. You can watch politicians trading blows in the House of Commons each week. Sometimes I enjoy it and sometimes I don’t. But it’s not necessarily very enlightening. We’ve got to take politics back to where it belongs: to you. So that’s why we’ve said: you set the agenda.”

He then continued by telling the audience what he intended to do, were he to become prime minister. Apparently the contradiction of what followed his opening remarks completely escaped him. After his speech there was a Q&A session with the audience and courtesy of John Rentoul on Twitter a lady with an American accent asked: “Why don;t you take back privatisation of gas, electricity and water?” – cue much applause. On querying EdM’s response with Rentoul the reply EdM gave was: “First, I’m not sure its the answer but, second, we won’t have the money to do it”. Being charitable to EdM one can only presume his reply was code for “HMV (Brussels), they say no!”.

Of course, if politicians did wish to enact that which they profess (which we know damn well they don’t) and take politic back to where it belongs – to we the people, thereby letting us set the agenda – then they would voluntarily adopt the principles of direct democracy. On this point, reader’s attention is drawn to John Redwood’s blog and a post today entitled “L’etat ce n’est pas moi”, from which the last paragraph:

“The big problem with western democracy is the tendency for politicians driving the state to spend and tax too much, damaging the freedom and independence of the people who have to support the state. I wish over the next few days to explore this paradox of freedom. Many people contributing to this blog will say “L’etat ce n’est pas moi”. They do not want the state to spend so much of their money, and disagree with many of its decisions. As we will see, they will however end up paying the bills if they stay in the country.”

Redwood’s attempt to explain what he terms a paradox of freedom should provide a rich vein for comment in the days to come. Interestingly, in the comments section one comment would appear to have adopted Demand #5 of the 6 Demands:

“The main problem most so called democracies have, seems to be the ability to borrow money on the peoples behalf.If the ability to borrow money was halted (other than in times of war to DEFEND the HOMELAND), then Governments would need to be more honest with their taxation and spending plans.At the moment we have a situation where the majority of the people attempt to be sensible with their own finances, only to find that their own financial budgets are cast to the winds by feckless politicians who always want more.Introduce Statute that no government can borrow money on the peoples behalf, and you not only go a good way to restoring the finances, but also returning to a proper more transparent democratic system of accountability.”

to which I have responded and, one could say, thrown down the gauntlet to John Redwood.

Today was also the Ukip Spring Conference, so a question to my Ukip readers: Why has the page: “Constitution Ukip policy 2009 – How we are governed”” disappeared” (“404” results)? Even clicking on “Manifesto” does not produce any policy about our constitution. From memory this document promised referenda on “selected” or “certain” matters (apols, can recall the exact wording); but selected or certain were not specified. Why will Ukip, which professes to be a Libertarian party, not adopt the principles of direct democracy – sorry, rhetorical question, because like all present political parties they wish to retain their power over we the people. Were a miracle to happen and Ukip formed a government, where the matter of our system of democracy is concerned – and the deficits contained therein, we are back to the age-old adage: plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

It hardly needs pointing out that were just one political party to adopt the principles of direct democracy there will be no need for the people to, eventually, become so revolting…….


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